Taking Emotion Seriously: Meeting Students Where They Are

TitleTaking Emotion Seriously: Meeting Students Where They Are
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSunderland, ME
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Pagination183 - 195
Date Published3/2014
ISSN Number1471-5546
KeywordsENGINEERING , Pedagogical Materials , SOCIAL responsibility
AbstractEmotions are often portrayed as subjective judgments that pose a threat to rationality and morality, but there is a growing literature across many disciplines that emphasizes the centrality of emotion to moral reasoning. For engineers, however, being rational usually means sequestering emotions that might bias analyses—good reasoning is tied to quantitative data, math, and science. This paper brings a new pedagogical perspective that strengthens the case for incorporating emotions into engineering ethics. Building on the widely established success of active and collaborative learning environments, in particular the problem-based learning (PBL) philosophy and methodology, the paper articulates new strategies for incorporating emotion into engineering ethics education. An ethics education pilot study is analyzed to explore how PBL can engage students’ emotions. Evidence suggests that PBL empowers students to cultivate value for engineering ethics and social responsibility, and in doing so, redefine the societal role of the engineer. Taking students’ emotions seriously in engineering ethics offers an effective strategy to meaningfully engage students in ethical learning.
Short TitleSci Eng Ethics
Full Text